One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounProsody Latin Prosody Ancient Greek Prosody
A metre consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee; a verse or line written in this metre.
adjectiveProsody Latin Prosody Ancient Greek Prosody
Of a verse or line: written in a metre consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Gabriel Harvey (c1552–1631), scholar and writer. From post-classical Latin Adonicus from classical Latin Adōnis, the name of Adonis + -icus, after e.g. classical Latin Sapphicus Sapphic; apparently so called as originally used in lamentations for Adonis; compare Sappho Fragment 168 ὦ τὸν Ἄδωνιν ‘O Adonis’, an example of this metre.
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